The first Fourth Fiction vote has been counted and verified and the first contestant to be rejected is Isis. To be fair, the vote was very close, with the final decision being down to who had the most positive comments posted on the Fourth Fiction website for their opening sentence of round one. On that basis, Isis is one her way out of the competition.
Since the pre-competition phase launched on July 4th, Isis quickly positioned herself as the kooky, spiritual, new-agey one of the group, her tweets filled with references to divinities, Ghandi quotations and a 140 character diary entries describing her juice fast.
During the pre-competition dares Isis festooned her tweets with images of Shiva and Vishnu, while touching on Tantric sex rituals. In my lit crit of the first five dares, I wrote:
All her decorative imagery just distracts the reader and alienates anyone not interested in that kind of thing. There seems very little to relate to if you don’t burn incense and pretend to be spiritual. Maybe its the juice fast taking and in the competition proper she’ll produce something with a little more solidity.
It would seem this statement was not a million miles off the mark, judging by the result of this week’s vote there were very few readers interested in reading the astral adventures of Willow, Isis’ recurring character, Willow appearing in her chain story contributions and her opening sentence. Isis’ opening sentence was perhaps even less ‘solid’ than her previous tweets. Her contributions to the last five dares of the pre- competition phase did see her rein in her metaphysical nature a little, with only one tweet touching on Egyptian deities or indeed deities of an kind. Her more grounded responses seemed refreshing in their simplicity. Once the chain story started, however, Isis returned to soaking her tweets in new age imagery.
The vote for this week was all about that first sentence though, and Isis’s was a doozy:
‘Lucid dreaming had helped Willow face her inner Kali and uncover the gem-studded glories of her inner bodhiverse, but only after she returned from her first astral projection, bathed in tears of joy and Universal Light, did she realize that there are no walls or barriers, that all life is pure energy, and that the only limits to our absolute freedom are those that we impose upon ourselves.’
As an opening sentence this perhaps tried to say too much. In her eagerness to share her message, Isis may have inadvertently closed the minds of those she was hoping to open, overloading them with too much spiritual vision. Or maybe folks simply want something they could relate to a little more. In these days of the global financial crisis and ongoing war on terror, peace and love and spiritual oneness just couldn’t match up to the experience of the world outside our window.
Who knows, we could all be wrong and the world might be in desperate need of a writer like Isis. If so, the universe will probably show her the way. At least we can be sure, with her ideals of peace, love and unity, that Isis will bear no grudges for being the first to leave. Om shanti, Isis.